Senate Bill 1564 forces every doctor, pharmacist, and pregnancy resource center to refer for abortions, tell patients the “benefits” of abortion, and present abortion as a “legal treatment option.”
“then the patient shall either be provided the requested healthcare service by others in the facility or be…referred, transferred, or given information…in writing…about other health care providers who [the objecting healthcare provider reasonably believes] may offer the health care service.”
1. S.B. 1564 violates federal law and could jeopardize federal funding.
The fiscal note issued by the Department of Healthcare & Family Services on SB1564 states the following:
“It is unclear if the passage of SB 1564 would jeopardize federal funding for the Illinois Medical Assistance Program. The Church Amendment codified at 42 U.S.C. § 300a-7, stipulates that for healthcare services funded in whole or in part by a program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), no person may be required to “perform or assist in the performance of any sterilization procedure or abortion if his performance or assistance in the performance of such procedure or abortion would be contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions.” The requirement in S.B. 1564 that the provider refer individuals to other providers who perform the procedure, especially if abortion or sterilization, violates the Church amendment; such referral could be interpreted as assistance with a morally objectionable procedure.”
Further, in a bipartisan letter to the General Assembly, three Illinois Congressmen urged members to reject S.B. 1564 citing that it violates federal law and could jeopardize federal funding:
“These provisions in actual effect gut the conscience protections currently enshrined in Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act by forcing objecting physicians and providers to assist and participate in the very treatments precluded by their conscientious or religious objections. More importantly, the provisions stand in stark contrast to the requirements of superseding federal law, including the Church Amendment, the Coats-Snowe Amendment, and the annual Hyde-Weldon Amendment. Moving forward with such legislation at the state level could seriously imperil federal funds for healthcare programs, including reimbursements under Medicare and Medicaid.”
2. Chasing workers away from the healthcare field is a disastrous healthcare policy.
The Heritage Foundation has predicted by 2030, Illinois will have a shortage of an estimated 18,240 nurses and 1,063 physicians. The Illinois Policy Institute and Northwestern University have also highlighted the medical professionals shortage stating, “To make matters worse, half of recent medical graduates are fleeing the state.”
Signing S.B. 1564 into law, would further chase medical professionals from the medical field increasing healthcare costs and decreasing healthcare access for Illinoisans.
In a survey conducted of 2,865 faith-based healthcare professionals, 91% agreed with the statement, “I would rather stop practicing medicine altogether than to be forced to violate my conscience.”
Americans understand the importance of protecting medical professionals’ conscience, and when surveyed, 87% of American adults believed it is important to “make sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections.”
Illinois needs a more welcoming medical field. Not a more hostile one.
3. S.B. 1564 would increase the number of abortions in Illinois.
For the sixth straight year, abortion numbers in Illinois have declined. This is something we can all celebrate, regardless of whether we are pro-life or pro-choice. Signing S.B. 1564 into law would increase the number of abortions.
4. Pregnancy Resource Centers save the government money.
There are approximately 2,500 PRCs in the United States. In 2010, PRCs served 2.3 million women saving the government approximately $100 million. There are about 100 PRCs in Illinois opposed to about 23 abortion clinics. S.B.1564 would shut down the PRCs, and thousands of women would lose access to basic healthcare needs such as STD and pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling, sex education, parenting classes, material support and much more.
S.B. 1564 would force PRCs to violate the reason they were created: to give women an alternative to abortion. These PRCS would now be forced to be sales centers for abortion clinics.
5. S.B. 1564 is unconstitutional and could subject Illinois to burdensome and costly litigation.
AUL’s analysis states:
“The Freedom of Speech Clause of the First Amendment includes the right not to speak, or how to address or not address a particular topic, as equally as it protects the right to speak. Several federal courts have specifically struck down requirements that pregnancy centers tell women certain things about abortion or birth control, or that they give the women information about alternative service providers. See, e.g., Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County, 5 F. Supp. 3d 745 (D. Md. 2014). After receiving the permanent injunction against the coercive law in Centro Tepeyac, attorney fees were awarded against the government in the amount of $374,999.”
6. S.B. 1564 reduces choices for women.
Women like myself specifically picked my OB/GYN because this doctor is publicly pro-life and will not encourage or pressure me to have an abortion should I become pregnant. That was my choice-and a very important one to me.
S.B. 1564 would remove that choice and would eliminate all doctor offices that are specifically created to serve pro-life women because those doctors would now be required to recommend abortion as a legitimate treatment option. See the link to my article here.
7. The healthcare profession requires that doctors adhere to a code of ethics.
The healthcare profession will crumble if it is not built on a code of ethics. Chasing doctors away from the field that are serious about adhering to a code of ethics is disastrous for the healthcare industry. We need more doctors concerned about ethics, not less.